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REVIEW: Sleeping Beauty at the Hethersett Village Hall

PUBLISHED: 15:30 23 January 2017

Performers in Hethersett Pantomime Group’s 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty. Picture: Hethersett Pantomime Group

Performers in Hethersett Pantomime Group’s 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty. Picture: Hethersett Pantomime Group

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Hethersett Pantomime Group’s 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty combines fun, charity and memories.

Performers in Hethersett Pantomime Group’s 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty. Picture: Hethersett Pantomime Group Performers in Hethersett Pantomime Group’s 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty. Picture: Hethersett Pantomime Group

The group’s 48th production in an unbroken run stretching back to 1970 provided another colourful show that was a delight for all ages.

For the first time this year the group has switched a Monday evening performance to a Sunday afternoon matinee and the change has certainly paid dividends with all nine shows sold out for the first time ever. Tickets have been like gold dust.

This year’s production was dedicated to the memory of three Hethersett pantomime stalwarts who died in 2016. A bucket collection at the end of each performance not only raised money for the Norfolk Accident Rescue Service but remembered musical director and local GP Tony Press, who was closely involved in the charity.

Others remembered included Marie Stevenson who was involved in both the pantomime group and Hethersett Players drama group before moving from the village and Peter Salter who for many years played principal roles

Performers in Hethersett Pantomime Group’s 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty. Picture: Hethersett Pantomime Group Performers in Hethersett Pantomime Group’s 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty. Picture: Hethersett Pantomime Group

“The pantomime group is very much like a family to all those who take part. Like any other family we understand that we will gain new members and sadly we will also lose people that are much loved and leave a huge gap in the family,” said writer and producer Lloyd Parfitt.

This year’s show is directed by Sarah Wright and involves a legion of people, both on and off stage. On stage it’s very much a traditional pantomime with a few twists with the glamour of Lewis Cook as Prince Valiant and Lauren Cooke as Princess Aurora acting as a foil to the evil intent of Kate Rowe as Morrigan.

The three good fairies – Neville Greenhalgh, Barry Foster and Steve Bussey – once again made an art form of the sly ad lib, proving that forgetting lines can produce some wonderful comedy moments. They were well supported by Jono Angelo as the King, Vicki Gale as the Queen, Rachel Woodier and Beth Tuckwood as Underfoot and Bigfoot, John Halford as the Narrator, Daniel Orford as Lord Chamberlain and a variety of guards, courtiers, servants, fairies and apprentices. Choreography was by Kate Rowe and Andrea Farrow.

Tony Press’ place as musical director was taken by 18-year-old panto newcomer Josh Lee who did an excellent job.

Performers in Hethersett Pantomime Group’s 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty. Picture: Hethersett Pantomime Group Performers in Hethersett Pantomime Group’s 2017 production of Sleeping Beauty. Picture: Hethersett Pantomime Group

The pantomime group has also reached another milestone in reaching the £100,000 mark for charities and good causes.

Sleeping Beauty continues with evening performances from Tuesday to Friday and a matinee and final evening performance on Saturday.

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